What do you get when you have an card toting member of the NRA elected to the U.S. Senate in New York?
What, you say? Republican v. Republican? Yes. This is a cornerstone issue where gun rights and control advocates come head to head with the party's schizophrenia in a Mano-a-Mano battle between the party's meek and macho yin and yang. So it may seem odd to see Republicans opposing the NRA (which has been branded with the Association's John Wayne swagger), but this is also the party that is typically tough-on-crime, anti Miranda, and definitely in favor of getting the bad guns out of the hands of the bad guys so that police can flex their full enforcement braggadocio .
Carolyn McCarthy is no stranger to gun violence having lost her husband in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting massacre. And I believe her when she says this is a personal issue for her. It is also a polarizing issue, and being personally vested does not always mean you are best suited to fight the fight. Personal issues lead to passions, and then lack of clear thinking, mistakes, regrets, and finally a worse situation than the one you started with. The passionate ones are not always the best problem solvers. Sometimes they shriek so loud from their personal experience that they fail to persuade, and ultimately become inter-meshed with the problem.
McCarthy is not alone, and the issue is serious. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not in favor of Gillibrand's appointment noting that the she "has actively opposed the efforts of New York City, and cities around the state and nation, to enact commonsense measures that keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals."
I do not own a gun, but I think people are entitled to own guns, provided they follow the rules and laws. And I agree with Democrat Jay Jacobs that ultimately Gillibrand is a Centrist and is willing to work with people. By contrast, McCarthy's confrontational style seems out of synch with our new Administration. I think it would be best for McCarthy to sit this one out, and allow someone less divisive to broker the common ground.